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Buttons and braids (no! …. edgings actually!)

Hello,

Two of the samples required for the International Diploma in Crochet Part 1 are seven different, usable, crocheted buttons and three crocheted edgings in DK yarn appropriate for adding to the front edges of a plain edge-to-edge knitted/crocheted jacket. I have been working on these during the last couple of weeks and sent them off to be assessed last week.

Each of the buttons had to be different so I settled on covering a flat button (lime green), a button with a shank (turquoise), a small round one (cream) and a metal ring (multi) which I covered in double crochet before weaving in and out of wheel-like spokes.  These were all worked in fine threads of differing thicknesses in amigurumi style, spiral double crochet.

The remaining three needed to be firm enough to hold their shape by either stuffing or working very firmly on small hooks: a red disc of trebles, a small pink globe filled with toy stuffing and a turquoise, variegated flower.

Here they are …..

Buttons

Let’s hope my mentor approves!

I can’t truthfully say that I found this to be a fun exercise as I found it quite fiddly. The buttons also needed more finishing off with a needle than I ever would choose. My friends all know that I go for a crochet join rather than a stitched one wherever possible!

The edgings (they differ from braids in that one side has to be plain double crochet to stitch onto existing fabric) proved more interesting and it was fun trying out a few new effects with stitches …

Edgings

Dk tweedy mix

This first edging is worked in a tweedy Scandinavian yarn called Sandnes Garn Robust and the last two rows form the half treble crochet puff stitch which I found in Pauline Turner’s book of finishing techniques.

Htr and front loop only crab st

Wendy Ramsdale DK provided a lovely woolly look and feel to this edging where I experimented a bit with working into back loops only.

Front post trebles

Finally, an edging based on an American afghan border which I had, using a combination of trebles and front post trebles.

Aside from these samples, I just could not resist starting a couple of extra projects  …… different requirements for car journeys, watching TV, knitting group etc. Well, that’s my excuse!!

So, here’s a glimpse of a real stash-buster that I have on the go using one of my favourite stitches – linen stitch, also sometimes referred to as woven or up-and-down stitch. It’s not a fast grower but I love the way the resulting fabric lies so flat …..

What could it be?


Linen st

Last week, feeling that a visit to a local Craft centre was justified by my stash-busting I splashed out on this interesting looking Bergère de France yarn. It has a metallic thread running through it …

Bergère de France reflet

I have to say I am pleased with the way it’s growing into my next shawl/triangular scarf; the four-row pattern is designed by Elisabeth de Herraiz and featured in Issue 41 of Simply Crochet

Elisabeth Davis de Herraiz lacy shawl

So there we are …. plenty to keep me busy over the next few weeks not to mention coming to grips (unintentional pun!) with Broomstick and Hairpin crochet for my course.

Enjoy your knitting and/or crochet wherever you are and be inspired to try something new. We all know how beneficial any crafting is.

Best wishes,

Jenny x

 

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Runner completed but time running out!

Hello everybody,

I have to apologise for neglecting my blog over the last couple of months. To be honest I’m finding it a bit difficult to find the time needed to keep up with the record of work required for my International Crochet Diploma and to blog as regularly as I would like.

I am thoroughly enjoying Part 1 of the course and have learned so much new stuff already – Tunisian and Broomstick as well as Filet crochet.  Certainly one of the things I’m noticing though is that the amount of time one can spend on “other” crochet activities is more limited: my “want to make” list is growing by the day. Christmas is fast approaching and along with the imminent arrival of two babies I want to make gifts for I am torn between my ICD samples and taking a break.

The good news is that Project No 3 is finished and has been submitted. I needed to use a fine thread and decided on a table runner in spider stitch – found the pattern on a lovely blog, Lace’n’Ribbon Roses. I already had a cone of Southern Comfort by Twilleys in my stash and used a 2mm hook which seems to show off the stitch pattern quite well.

Spider stitch

first attempt at the stitch pattern

 

pleased with the effect

pleased with the effect but the colour looks completely different!

Fortunately, I have a blocking mat which proved the perfect size for the runner……

blocking

….. and here it is ready to send off

difficult to photograph

My limited photography skills made it difficult to take a good photo of this but I do like the way the light behind picks up the stitch pattern.

And so, we are off on holiday for a month during which time I hope to catch up with some small bits and bobs – photos at the end of November, hopefully! I’m sure you will all be starting on some Christmas gifts too; good luck with all those projects and ….

……. keep crocheting!

Bye for now,

Jenny x

 

 

 

 

 

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Pebble puzzles

Hello again.

Well, there’s good news and not so good news. I’ll start with the bad news, shall I, and get it out of the way?

Well, would you believe that I’m running out of pebbles. Yes …. that huge bag of North Sea Cobbles is almost at an end and what’s more all the best of them – round and symmetrical – have gone, leaving behind  some rather quirky shapes which are proving quite a challenge to cover.

very odd shapes

very odd shapes

More on that subject later!

Now to the good news …. I’ve found a product which transforms the rather grey stones into a far more acceptable pebble to crochet around. A most helpful young man at our local Post Office came up with the idea of painting the stones with Mod Podge – yes, that really is what it’s called – to enhance the colours of the rocks. You know how much more attractive pebbles look when wet – well, it doesn’t quite reproduce that look but it definitely helps.

the marvellous Mod Podge

the marvellous Mod Podge

 

glossed and ready to go

glossed and ready to go

 

So, with some unusual shapes lined up I have been searching the internet for some appropriate shaped motifs to use. I’ve seen images of beautiful designs …. leaves, ferns, swirls and other fantastical shapes … But there are never any patterns for them. The problem, you see,  is framing the central motif in such a way that it enhances the shape of the pebble. The perfectly round patterns which I started on last autumn work well but now I want to create something different for each stone. It’s become a bit  obsessive and I have taken to scouring all my crochet magazines for different motifs and doily centres which I can adapt to the shapes of my stones.

My attempts at covering a rather beautiful oval shaped stone have not achieved quite what I wanted: having spotted and worked a leaf outline design from the beautiful new book Natura’s Crochet Flowers I was disappointed to find the finished result too fussy so that the central motif is lost. This is one pebble which is about to be uncovered!

attempted leaf!

attempted leaf!

 

Some have turned out better, though, and I shall certainly be trying the windmill, spider’s web, spiral cross, snowflake and granny rectangle again.

windmill design by Anita Mundt

windmill design by Anita Mundt

 

spider's web by Lucy Croft in Simply Crochet

spider’s web by Lucy Croft in Simply Crochet

 

granny rectangle from Simply Crochet

granny rectangle from Simply Crochet

 

snowflake from Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks

snowflake from Jan Eaton’s 200 Crochet Blocks

 

I can’t quite believe I have now made twenty-one different covers and even the designs which I have made more than once look different each time.

For anybody who really does want to see the designs I’ve used so far –  all my covered pebbles can be seen on Pinterest here.

So, that’s all for now. I’m off on a large pebble hunt.

Jenny x

 

 

 

 

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Crochet Stitches Untangled

What a great workshop on Sunday at The Wool Croft, Abergavenny. I can’t think of a better setting for a day of crochet … surrounded by such glorious yarns in the most inspiring colours. It was lovely to meet fellow crocheters and share some of the tips I have picked up over the last couple of years. Thanks to those who attended .. you all worked so hard and I loved the samples you produced. Good news for prawn enthusiasts in the Abergavenny area too : The Woolly Prawn kit is now available from The Wool Croft as well as the book. Not only does the kit include a copy of the book and all you need to make a prawn or two but a limited edition mini prawn keyring.

The Woolly Prawn kit

The Woolly Prawn kit

Now back to my pebbles … great excitement this morning when the postman delivered my crochet cottons.They look just as I had imagined for my cobble covers.

New cottons

These look better!

Can’t wait to get started now … I’m looking for some snowflake patterns.

Keep those needles and hooks active,

Jenny x